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Old 12-21-2011, 09:03 AM   #1
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Vacuum Blows Circuit Breakers


This is very strange. My upright vacuum cleaner blows the circuit breaker in one of the bedrooms in my home. I've tried unplugging everything else on the circuit and turning off the lights in the room but the vacuum still blows the circuit!

This is a fairly new house and I think it's pretty well built. The vacuum is also fairly new too. Any ideas?

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Old 12-21-2011, 09:07 AM   #2
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Vacuum Blows Circuit Breakers


Does the vacuum work okay in other places?

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Old 12-21-2011, 09:13 AM   #3
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Vacuum Blows Circuit Breakers


Yes, the vacuum works fine in all other rooms. To vacuum the problem room I just run an extension cord from the bathroom.

**Also, I've tried other high power appliances in there too. My microwave takes more power than the vacuum cleaner, but it runs fine in there.

Last edited by michaelson; 12-21-2011 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:18 AM   #4
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Vacuum Blows Circuit Breakers


Perhaps a loose wire in the outlet or panel?

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Old 12-21-2011, 09:20 AM   #5
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Vacuum Blows Circuit Breakers


...also.... bedroom? Is the breaker an AFCI?

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Old 12-21-2011, 09:25 AM   #6
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Vacuum Blows Circuit Breakers


I've tried different outlets in the same room; they all do it. What is an AFCI?
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:52 AM   #7
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Vacuum Blows Circuit Breakers


arc fault circuit interrupt - breaker. now required for many of us.
They're also problematic when it comes to high amp starters like vacuums, pumps, etc.

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Old 12-21-2011, 09:55 AM   #8
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Vacuum Blows Circuit Breakers


Of course it COULD still just be a loose wire in the panel or the first outlet in the room.... hard to say.
....or other reasons!

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Old 12-21-2011, 10:06 AM   #9
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Vacuum Blows Circuit Breakers


Check if it's an AFCI breaker, should be easy to identify in your panel.

If it is, try the vacuum on another AFCI circuit in your house.

It may be detecting an arc in the vacuum.
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:56 AM   #10
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Vacuum Blows Circuit Breakers


How do I identify a AFCI breaker? There are four with an additional push button (one for each bedroom and one for the hallway). Are these them?
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Old 12-21-2011, 11:00 AM   #11
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Vacuum Blows Circuit Breakers


Little blue (most likely) test buttons? Sounds like afci alright.
Do they light up when you turn them off and back on?

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Old 12-21-2011, 11:00 AM   #12
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Vacuum Blows Circuit Breakers


If you read the actual breaker, it will state:

"AFI COMBINATION" or "ARC FAULT INTERRUPTER"
or similar

For Square D, the "white" test buttons indicate an AFCI
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Old 12-21-2011, 11:04 AM   #13
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Vacuum Blows Circuit Breakers


Seimens are blue, and the writing is too tiny for an old man like me to read.

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Old 12-21-2011, 11:05 AM   #14
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....and the bedrooms is where I was required to install mine, although NOW I think they're required in more than just the bedrooms....

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Old 12-21-2011, 11:10 AM   #15
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Vacuum Blows Circuit Breakers


Quote:
Originally Posted by DangerMouse View Post
Seimens are blue, and the writing is too tiny for an old man like me to read.

DM
Good point - I take my unassisted(for now) eyesight for granted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DangerMouse View Post
....and the bedrooms is where I was required to install mine, although NOW I think they're required in more than just the bedrooms....

DM
Correct - depending what NEC your AHJ enforces... starting with the '08 NEC they started requiring them in more places, and now with the 2011 NEC it is just about anywhere in the house you wont find a GFCI already installed.

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